Get An Affidavit of Single for Marriage in China
Obtaining an Affidavit of Single in the U.S. for marriage in China requires processing with 3 government offices.
- Local Clerk of Courts
- State Secretary of State
- Chinese Consulate/Embassy (Your state's jurisdiction)
When the process is complete, you will have a notarized Affidavit of Single, along with an attached authentication certificate. The authenticated Affidavit of Single proves your single status has been verified and you can marry in China.
Step #1 Get Your Affidavit of Single Form Notarize with Clerk of Courts
Take your Affidavit of Single Form to your county Clerk of Courts. Complete the form, have your signature witnessed and notarized.
Step #2 Secretary of State Authentication
The Chinese Consulate/Embassy, here in the United States, will not accept documents from a local notary, they must be authenticated on the state level.
Each state has a Secretary of State Office or in some states a Lieutenant Governor which is responsible for providing authentication on public documents to be used abroad. The purpose of authentication is to verify, to foreign governments, that a public official (Notary) is in good standing.
There are two types of authentication. Each country determines whether an ‘Apostille’ or ‘Certificate’ is required. China is not a party to the Hague Convention, therefore, you must request an ‘Authentication Certificate’ and not an ‘Apostille’.
Go to your state’s Secretary of State or Lieutenant Governor’s website, and download the ‘Application for Authentication’.
Follow the instructions provided on the application, since the procedures and fees can differ from state to state.
Note: When you receive your Authentication back from the Secretary of State, it will be attached to the Clerk of Court notarized form. Never remove the seal or staple that attaches these documents. It will be void for processing with the Chinese Consulate/Embassy.
Step #3 Chinese Consulate/Embassy Authentication
The requirements for Consular Authentication by the Chinese Embassy (in D.C.) and by the Chinese Consulate-Generals (in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago) are different.
If to be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy, the documents will be authenticated by the US Department of State . If to be authenticated by the Chinese Consulate-General which holds consular jurisdiction over the State where your residence is located, the documents need to be authenticated by the relative Secretary of the State and not by the US Department of State.
Go to the Chinese Consulate/Embassy online with your state jurisdiction and download the Application for Authentication. Follow the instructions for sending your state authenticated documents and fee.
Choosing An Affidavit of Single or Marriageability Affidavit
A Marriageability Affidavit can be obtain at any U.S. Consulate or the U.S. Embassy in China. The Affidavit of Single is obtained in the United States. Both work the same to prove you can legally marry in China.
The factors to determine which to use:
- Getting a Marriageability Affidavit in China: How much time do you have in China? Can you set an appointment and travel to any U.S. Consulate or the Embassy in Beijing? The cost of the Marriageability Affidavit is $50 with less steps then the Affidavit of Single.
- Getting an Affidavit of Single in the United States: The advantage, arriving in China with what you need to get married.
You may also like to read: How to get a Marriageability Affidavit in China